Gien to Blois 111km
31.07.06 by Buffalo Bill
Gien to Blois 111km 8th July
After 3 nights in Gien, I was ready to leave. I had to leave. I had rested my tendon, but my head was aching and sore, and not just because of the beer that I had drunk with Thierry the night before when he was showing me a good night out in Gien.
A good night out in Gien was a visit to two of the four bars on the river, one of which featured a accordion band playing the worst covers of Bob Dylan songs I have heard since I used to busk in Green Park underground station. The only real excitement was provided by a minor scuffle that broke out in one of the bars. After a few minutes of arm-waving by around 15 people and some firm words from the bar-maid, even this faded into the night. Gien is not the sort of town that you would travel 50 km to, expecting to find a wild party when you arrived. You can be sure of a warm welcome at the Auberge des Gourmets, where I spent quite of bit time and money, and the night that the French won the semi was pretty rowdy, but even the locals told me that Gien was a quiet place.
So I loaded the trailer, filled my water-bottles and headed West. By now I was sure that I could not make it to the Med. But I wanted to go to the sea-side. I fell in love by the sea-side, and I needed a goal. I made my destination Blois, down-stream from Gien on the Loire, around a bend. I decided to cut across the bend to cut down the mileage, on C roads, which would surely be quieter than the roads by the river. I had bought a new set of head-phones, and I now had a sound-track to set the changing scenery to.
A little way out of Gien, I saw this coming up on my right. A nuclear power station set right on the banks of the Loire river. Another example of French callous disregard for the countryside. Maybe EDF think the blue sky sets off the columns of steam coming from the cooling towers very nicely.
South from the Loire, I found some very quiet roads, and started singing along to the songs on my MP3 player. Very relaxing, and I started to feel my ennuis (French for not exactly either troubles or problems but something in between) fade a little. I was in deep France, away from tourists, where nothing really happens. I was getting lost, escaping from myself for a little while.
I stopped in a forest for lunch, and took all my clothes off. Alone, naked in a forest. I should point out that I took off all my clothes so that I could minister to the holes in my perineum, one of which was the size of a fifty pence piece in length and perhaps the width of a penny. But whatever the reason, I was naked and solitary in the forest. Which of course makes me think of the Cure song ‘A Forest’
‘I’m lost in a forest
The girl was never there
It’s always the same
I’m running towards nothing
Again and again and again’
This is the fourth part of my journey to France, ‘Looking for Km 83’